Community rallies after SCV teen dies unexpectedly

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Family and friends are mourning the loss of 17-year-old Landon Lucas after he died unexpectedly June 21.

Described by many as a “pure soul,” Landon was set to start his senior year at Canyon High School in the fall and return to the swim team, which he’d been a part of in 10th grade, according to his mother, Kelli Lucas.

“He was 6-foot-5 and, like, 240 pounds, so he was man-sized, but still a little boy inside,” Kelli said, adding she was almost worried about him going out into the world because he was so kindhearted. “He told me he loved me probably a thousand times a day.”

Throughout his whole life, the single mother said, she was told how incredibly sweet her son was.

“Anybody that met him, his IEP (Individualized Education Program) teachers (to) … the people who cut his hair, they always said the same thing, that he’s so sweet and so nice to work with,” Kelli said. “We just loved being with him.”

Brett, Kelli, River and Landon, left to right. Courtesy

Landon was the youngest of three boys and looked up to his brothers, Brett Morgan, a 27-year-old Army veteran, and River Lucas, who just turned 20.

“Literally, his whole entire world was his family,” family friend Laura Munoz said.

While Kelli wasn’t able to take Landon to church as often as she had when he was younger, Landon still had a strong faith in God and wouldn’t leave the house without his cross necklace, she said.

It was that faith in God that Munoz hopes will help to comfort the family through this difficult time.

“What gives them comfort is (that) he was such an amazing kid,” Munoz said. “He was like an angel on Earth, so you obviously know he’s in heaven. … They’re a family of faith, so they have that to hold onto.”

Brothers Landon, River and Brett, left to right. Courtesy

Landon loved anime and had quirky interests, such as wanting to learn to play the bagpipes and listening to tavern music from the 1500s, according to Kelli.

“He just always made me laugh and was so random,” she added.

It’s those quirks the Lucas family hopes to honor by getting an authentic Celtic sword made for him to be buried with, as he’d frequently asked for one but never got it.

“I don’t know, maybe he was just one of God’s soldier angels or something … that’s what I’d like to think,” she added.

On the afternoon of his death, Landon told his mother he wasn’t feeling well, saying that his heart felt “a little fluttery,” but that he was otherwise OK, Kelli said.

“He goes to the doctors every year (and had a) clean bill of health,” Kelli added. Landon went to lie down in his room and was found unresponsive a few hours later.

Landon Lucas and his brother Brett, right to left. Courtesy

“(His mother) did every lifesaving thing that she could, but he (was) … gone,” Munoz said.

Preliminary reports indicate no sign of drug or alcohol use, and while the family suspects cardiomyopathy, the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office is deferring Landon’s cause of death, pending additional investigation.

His mother said she’s received inquiries on whether Landon had been vaccinated against COVID-19 and said that he, in fact, had not, nor did he ever contract the virus.

The Santa Clarita Valley community has rallied around the Lucas family, raising funds for Landon’s funeral costs through GoFundMe.

Firehouse Subs is also set to host a fundraiser for the Lucas family 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, with 25% of its sales for that day set to go to the family.

To donate, visit gofundme.com/f/funeral-for-landon-lucas-17. 

Landon Lucas and his brother River, left to right. Courtesy

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